All the states surrounding us here in Europe, all those on this globe in which the vital nerve of the state, the will to power, has not yet been killed off, reach out and expand their sphere of influence; it is done even by states that are internally as unhealthy as France and Russia; it is done by states with such immense possessions as England and the North American Union; finally, it is done by a state whose population has begun to decline, France, where there is most certainly no need for additional colonial land. All are reaching out, even weak Spain is fighting back and is seeking to recover Morocco, which it lost to the United States – only the German Reich is “satiated,” and as soon as a conflict breaks out in a country that would be a candidate for the influence of the civilized nations, it hastens to proclaim its “political non-interest,” as they say, and to demand only that its economic interests be safeguarded.
But if any state has cause to look to the expansion of its sphere of power, it is the German Reich, for the size of its population is growing rapidly, its industry needs new markets, its overall economy needs land to produce tropical and semi-tropical products of every kind, the procurement of which has today brought us into intolerable dependence on others; let me mention only cotton. [ . . . ]
One must bear in mind, though, that the purposes of land acquisition abroad are manifold, depending on the economic and national needs they are meant to serve: we need industrial markets and land for industrial raw materials, and we need them now and under any circumstances – but also land for the settlement of Germans, for whom the Fatherland will have no more room one day because of overpopulation. But that land must be acquired, developed, and secured today, even if it will experience a larger influx only in twenty or thirty years, for it is not possible to set up a colony to absorb larger groups of immigrants from one day to the next, and until such time as it will be needed for this, it can and will already serve the other purposes. [ . . . ]
One can thus say that since Bismarck’s departure, a complete change has taken place in our public opinion; talk about German “satiety” is no longer valid; developments and need have shown that we have become hungry again, hungry for land, and this confronts German statecraft with tasks that go beyond Bismarck. [ . . . ]
The propertied and educated feel politically disenfranchised, silenced by the decision of the majority. Entrepreneurs, whom the developments of the last decades have in fact made the pillars of our national economy, find themselves exposed to the arbitrariness of the workers stirred up by the Socialists – all protection by the state is refused.